Thursday, August 27, 2009

Big News In Vermont Politics!

Governor Jim Douglas (R) of Vermont announced today that he will not be running for another term in 2010. Shay Totten of Vermont's Seven Days wrote about the news on their blog BLURT this afternoon:

http://7d.blogs.com/blurt/2009/08/douglas-opts-out-in-10-political-reaction.html

This is big political news in Vermont. It also brought back some personal meories. When I was working on the radio in Montpelier during the past couple of years, I had the opportunity to record Public Service Announcements (PSAs) with several state officials. The Governor recorded a couple of PSAs with me. Never having met Governor Douglas, I didn't know what to expect when he came in for the first of these recording sessions. Jim Douglas turned out to be easy to work with. He came in fully prepared, nailed the read in in one or two takes... and he was remarkably funny! I had no idea that he had such a dry wit before I worked with him (though since then I have heard from some reporters, off the record, that he has some jokes he repeats from time to time...). All the same, he made the whole process simple, fast and enjoyable.

In our current cable news fed political culture, people on opposite political sides tend to demonize each other, or at the very least paint political opponents as somehow very different from themselves. I'm not a fan of Governor Douglas' politics, so meeting him and discovering that he was an okay guy (for a poltician... heh) was instructive. In a way, Jim Douglas put a human face on Republicans for me. Helped me remember there are good and bad people on every side.

I also had the opportunity to work on radio PSAs with Secretary of State Deb Markowitz and State Treasurer Jeb Spaulding, both very nice folks in their own right! It will be interesting to watch the developing political picture in the Green Mountain State over the next few months...